Friday, January 13, 2006

The $150 Cup of Budweiser


WESTERVILLE, Ohio (AP) -- The central Ohio city of Westerville, once known as the "dry capital of the world," is dry no more.
A pizza parlor on Thursday became the first establishment in Westerville's uptown business district to legally serve a beer since 1875.
"Here's to a new tradition in Westerville," local jeweler Bill Morgan said as he raised his plastic cup of Budweiser at Michael's Pizza.
Westerville's temperance history dates back 131 years, when the town's saloon was blown up during what's known as the "Whiskey Wars."
The Anti-Saloon League moved its headquarters to Westerville in 1909, and the city became known as the "dry capital of the world."
Business and city leaders pushed for the serving of alcohol in uptown establishments as a way to compete with restaurants and bars at two new retail developments near the Columbus suburb.
Voters on November 8 approved licenses for beer and wine to be sold at Michael's Pizza and Pasquale's Pizza & Pasta, whose owner plans to start serving libations February 1.
The night of the election, Michael's Pizza owner Michael Evans said he would auction off the first beer, with the proceeds going to a local ministry.
Morgan, whose family has lived in Westerville for four generations, topped five other bidders to win the beer for $150.
"My dad said it would never happen," Morgan, 51, said as he prepared to drink the beer.
Voters in a portion of Westerville approved licenses to sell alcohol in 1998, but uptown had remained dry.